Capt. Bernt Koning Honored with Dutch Royal Award “Knight in the Order of Orange-Nassau”

Article audio (courtesy of Don Sheetz)

Shared from

In a heartwarming tribute to his four decades of selfless service and dedication, Capt. Bernt Koning has been bestowed with the esteemed Dutch Royal award “Knight in the Order of Orange-Nassau”. The International Christian Maritime Association (ICMA) proudly supported his nomination, recognizing his invaluable contributions to society. Bernt, pictured left, expressed his sincere surprise upon receiving the honour, emphasizing that the recognition symbolizes the culmination of years spent tirelessly advocating for others’ welfare.

Reflecting on the significance of this prestigious accolade, Bernt humbly remarked, “It is recognition of what I did in the past 40 years in jobs that are not paid. I did it to think of other people’s needs, but I also liked to do it, to help society in a better way, to improve.”

Capt. Bernt Koning and Mayor Peter Rehwinkel (photo Wil van Balen)

Bernt’s exemplary service spans a diverse array of roles and initiatives. He co-founded and directed The Sea Sound Big Band, demonstrating his multifaceted talents beyond the maritime sphere. Additionally, he held influential board positions at organizations such as the Stichting Protestants Koopvaardijwerk Rijnmond, NZC, and ICMA, showcasing his commitment to fostering positive change both locally and internationally.

Notably, Bernt played a pivotal role in establishing the International Seafarers’ Centre, The Bridge, in Oostvoorne, providing seafarers with a welcoming haven on land. His dedication to maritime endeavors extended to his years as a pilot and skipper on De Eendragt, where he navigated challenges with skill and resilience. Furthermore, Bernt generously volunteered his time at De Zonnebloem in Den Dungen, embodying the spirit of altruism and community engagement.

The formal presentation of the Royal decoration took place on Friday morning, April 26, in the historic setting of the Sint-Catharijnekerk in Brielle. Mayor Peter Rehwinkel bestowed the honor upon Bernt and 21 other esteemed residents of the municipality of Voorne aan Zee, underscoring their exceptional contributions to society.

The Knight in the Order of Orange-Nassau, the fifth degree in the order, is reserved for individuals with meritorious achievements of regional or national significance. Bernt’s unwavering dedication to various causes aligns perfectly with the ideals embodied by this distinguished honour. His selfless endeavours have left an indelible mark on the community, inspiring others to follow in his footsteps.

In a letter dated June 5, ICMA extended their wholehearted support for Bernt’s nomination, praising his exemplary leadership and invaluable contributions. Bernt’s tenure as a board member of ICMA, spanning from 2012 to 2022, was marked by his steadfast commitment to the organization’s mission. As treasurer, he played a pivotal role in guiding ICMA through legal reorganizations and constitutional amendments, ensuring its continued success.

Congratulations, Bernt!

Photo and information from Gemeente voorne aan zee and Groot


NAMMA members receive a print copy of The MARE Report, NAMMA’s annual magazines for seafarer’s welfare professionals